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Blue and White Porcelain holds a special place in Chinese history. The technique matured in the 14th century, during Yuan dynasty, so the pieces produced during that era are of rare quality. Unfortunately, though, few such pieces remain. So today an exhibition of just such pieces is a real treat.
Among the 80 pieces on show, a particular stellar example is on loan from Britain’s Percival David Foundation. Inscriptions on its neck indicate that the vase was created in 1352, the 11th year of the Zhizheng reign during Yuan dynasty. That particular period is believed by scholars to have produced ancient times’ best blue and white porcelains.
|Ancient porcelain on display at Shanghai Museum|
Lu Minghua, Director of Porcelain Dept., Shanghai Museum, said, "This vase is significant also because it help experts determine the whereabouts of other wares with similar shapes and quality."
The pictures on this piece tell the ancient story of Gui Guzi coming down the mountain to save his disciple - the later strategist Sun Bin. It fetched 230 million yuan at UK’s Christie’s in 2005. And another item shaped like a Mongolian yurt is one of its kind... there’s really nothing else like it from the yuan dynasty. Their whites come from the porcelain itself, while the blue glaze is typically made from colbalt oxide - which holds its color well even after centuries. That’s the fact that has helped make such pieces so-prized by collectors world-over. And the items on show have been drawn from museums and foundations from all over the earth... The UK, Iran, of course China and others. Luckily, anybody interested in checking out the display will have plenty of time. The exhibition runs till next January.